Most voters cannot imagine Ed Miliband as PM
· Labour lead doubles, but trust in Miliband and Balls on the economy lowest since March 2012
The latest ComRes poll for tomorrow’s Independent on Sunday / Sunday Mirror has Labour’s lead doubling since the last ComRes online poll (S Mirror / IoS 19 October) to six points, with the Conservatives falling three points to 29%. Labour remains on 35%, while UKIP and the Liberal Democrats both gain 1 point, to 17% and 10% respectively.
Con 29% (-3)
Lab 35% (nc)
UKIP 17% (+1)
LD 10% (+1)
Others 9% (+1)
The Martin Baxter calculator shows that Labour would win a majority of 74 seats with the number of Conservative seats dropping by 75 seats. The Liberal Democrats would lose 29 seats, and be left with 28 seats.
Private education and positions of power
· More than two thirds of the British public (69%) agree that Sir John Major was right to say that it is “shocking” that positions of power are held “overwhelmingly by the privately educated”, including a majority of voters for all parties. However, Labour voters are the most likely to agree (81%) while Conservative voters are the least likely to agree (58%). There is consistency for this view across all income groups.
· Although 70% of Britons believe it to be “quite easy” to change gas or electricity supplier, just one in eight (13%) say they have changed supplier in the past month.
· When it comes to expanding nuclear power, Britons are broadly supportive of the idea. 45% agree that more nuclear power stations should be built in Britain in the next five years, compared to 27% who disagree. However, there is a very sharp gender divide and almost as large an age divide over nuclear power. 63% of men and 27% of women say new power stations should be built in the next five years, while the range of support among age group spans 31% among 18-24s up to 61% of those aged 65+.
Help to Buy
· More than four in ten, 44%, say that the scheme to guarantee mortgages will make houses more expensive for most people. Although there appears to be some lack of knowledge about the initiative, with two in five (41%) saying they do not know, just one in six disagree (16%).
· The public is split about whether the UK economy will improve next year, 44% say they expect it will, compared to 34% who do not.
· Labour’s current focus on energy prices is perhaps costing them in other areas which are now receiving less attention. Just 19% of the public say they trust Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to make the right decisions about the economy, seeing their net trust rating (-38) fall to its lowest rating since March 2012.
· David Cameron and George Osborne (27%) remain more trusted than the Labour pair to make the right decisions about the economy, with their lead on net trust on the economy increasing from 6 points to 11 points since September 2013.
· Although a quarter of British adults (24%) say their opinion of Ed Miliband has got more positive recently, a slightly higher proportion say their opinion of him has got more negative (29%).
· More than half of the British public (53%) say they cannot imagine Miliband as Prime Minister, compared to just 25% who say they can.
· A quarter of people (24%) say that Ed Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party, up two points from August. However, 45% disagree, including one in five Labour voters (18%).
· British people generally disagree that Miliband’s father being a Marxist means it would be harder for him to be a good Prime Minister for the whole country. More than half disagree (55%), compared with just 16% who agree.
· However, Britons are more divided about whether the fact that David Cameron went to Eton makes it harder for him to be a good Prime Minister for the whole country. One third agree that this is the case (34%), although more people disagree (45%) and the number agreeing has decreased slightly from the proportion who said so this time last year (38%).
· Despite the slightly higher number of people saying that Miliband is turning out to be a good leader of the Labour Party, Britons are more likely to say that they expect David Cameron (36%) to come across better than Miliband (23%) if there are television debates at the next General Election.